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Offshore wind farm commissioned in Ukraine, despite armed conflict

The world’s only wind farm, being built amid the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine has officially been commissioned, the largest Ukrainian private energy company DTEK confirmed on Monday (22 May).

Phase I of the Tyligulska wind farm, which is located 100 kilometres (km) from the frontline in the Southern region of Mykolaiv, is now in operation. The plant’s 19 turbines have an installed capacity of 114 megawatts (MW), generating up to 390,000 kilowatts per hour (kWh) which can power 200,000 households a year.

DTEK spent 200 million dollars (186.3 million euros) on the construction of Phase I, the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA) said. The project is one of the first to deploy six MW Enventus turbines from the Danish manufacturer Vestas. 

“The Tyligulska wind farm is a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance to Russian attempts to freeze Ukraine into submission. With projects like Tyligulska, we can build Ukraine back greener and cleaner and become a key partner in Europe’s energy future. And by developing an infrastructure based on distributed rather centralised generation, we create an energy supply that is more resilient and stable,” said Maxim Timchenko, CEO of DTEK

Phase II of the project plans to add up to 64 turbines to raise potential output to 500 MW, which would make it the largest wind farm in Eastern Europe, UWEA said.

The wind farm’s construction began in late 2021, with the first wind turbine erected in December 2021. DTEK halted the construction following Russia’s invasion in February 2022, as Russian forces advanced on Mykovaiv and foreign partners were forced to evacuate staff and equipment. By summer 2022, work resumed with an all-Ukrainian crew of 650 people at its peak. Staff worked in bulletproof vests and spent over 300 hours in bomb shelters from August 2022 until April this year.

In 18 months, the construction team installed 114 MW of generating capacity – twice the usual speed for a project on this scale, UWEA noted.

“Before the war, the development of wind energy in Ukraine was primarily seen as an alternative to natural gas imported from Russia. Today this industry should become one of the main tools for building a new decentralised energy system in Ukraine, which will help to avoid blackouts that our country faced this winter,” said Andriy Konechenkov, Chairman of the UWEA Board.

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